"Chorba" comes from the Arabic word for drink, referring to this soup's thin broth. It's popular across North Africa and is prepared in numerous ways—with fish, meat or just veggies. This no-frills recipe was passed down to London-based chef Nargisse Benkabbou from her maternal grandmother. The simple ingredients make a tasty meal that evokes her past. "In Morocco, chorba is often enjoyed during Ramadan, so it always reminds me of the times we used to gather with my family to break the fast," she says. Benkabbou—who frequently flies to Marrakech, where she's the executive chef at L'Mida—aims to celebrate her heritage with every dish. But she doesn't hesitate to add her own modern twist. "I love spicy food," says Benkabbou. "So I always end up adding harissa to my chorba, although it's a bit untraditional."
If you forget to soak your chickpeas overnight, add a 15-ounce can of chickpeas (rinsed) along with the potatoes in Step 2.